NBA Starting Five – 2/24

We came into the All-Star break hot, and came out of it hot as the lineup we posted on our private page hit all cash games and a handful of GPPs. If you’re interested in a lineup package from the Fantasy Forecast team, DM us on Twitter (@FanForecast) and we’ll fill you in on what’s included and the pricing. 

Tonight we have a nice 10-game slate to break down, but really only one stud that I consider an absolute MUST. During the All-Star break, I decided that regardless of the slate size, I am going to stick with the “Starting 5” article format for a couple reasons: it allows me to be able to crank the article out more often (hopefully a daily basis) and it also allows me to go deeper into the plays than the big breakdown articles do. It also helps that we have value columns, first glance articles and the Lineup Logic podcast to cover everything else.

Here is my Fanduel Starting 5 for tonight’s slate:

Point Guard

Russell Westbrook ($12,700)

Lock him in and move on. There isn’t another stud on this slate that comes with a higher floor or ceiling, and there’s more than enough value to supplement his salary.

Pair with: Kyle Lowry ($8,300), Jeremy Lin ($5,800) – GPP Only, D’Angelo Russell ($5,700), Jameer Nelson ($5,600), Yogi Ferrell ($5,500), Malcolm Delaney ($3,500)

Shooting Guard

Gary Harris ($5,200)

The shooting guard position is straight up ugly tonight, and that’s unusual on such a large slate, so the value will be the primary target. He’s struggled with his health a bit this season, but his last two games have given us a taste of what his role should be in Denver. Over those games, he’s averaged 22.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2 steals per game over an average of 36.5 minutes. The most encouraging part of his recent play is the fact that he was able to get 19 shots off last night and shot 5-11 from downtown. The Nets are the second worst team in the NBA against shooting guards (behind the Nuggets), surrendering 39.1 FD points per game. For $5,200, it’ll take 26 Fanduel points to eclipse 5x value. He could very well pour in 26 raw points tonight.

Pair with: DeMar DeRozan ($8,100), Bradley Real ($7,100), Will Barton ($6,400), Victor Oladipo ($6,000), Nick Young ($4,300), Caris LeVert ($4,000)

Small Forward

Jimmy Butler ($9,300)

Butler is my high-priced lock to compliment Westbrook tonight. Usually I’d be rather weary about a matchup with the Suns, but now that PJ Tucker, their best perimeter defender, has been shipped off to Toronto, I see no reason why Butler won’t have a field day. While he’s a plus defender, the Suns still rank in the bottom half of the NBA against small forwards, and that isn’t going to improve. Without Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, there are also a small handful of shots to go around, with Butler getting first dibs. I expect this game to be rather close and Butler has the potential for a 60 burger tonight.

Pair with: Otto Porter ($6,800), Robert Covington ($6,600), TJ Warren ($5,000), DeMarre Carroll ($4,400)

Power Forward

Bobby Portis ($4,200)

Now that Taj Gibson is shipped out of town, Bobby Portis may have finally found his opportunity with the Bulls. He’s been tabbed the starter for tonight’s game against Phoenix. His per-36 minute numbers this season sit at 13.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. There is a very strong chance that he won’t see 36 minutes tonight, but that shows that the potential production is there as he’s a PPM (point per minute) machine. The Suns are the fourth worst team in the league against the power forward, allowing an average of 43.4 FDP per game to the position. If Portis gets rolling, there’s a good shot that Mirotic will be left in the dust much like he was last game (Portis recorded 19 points and 8 rebounds in 26 minutes). If Portis can match that production, he’ll be the epitome of a perfect value play.

Pair with: Nikola Jokic ($10,900), Dario Saric ($6,200), Serge Ibaka ($5,900), Nikola Mirotic ($4,000), Richuan Holmes ($3,500)

Center

Jahlil Okafor ($4,500)

I understand why you would be concerned with playing Okafor in cash, but trust me, if there was a night to pull the trigger, tonight is that night. With Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid traded/out tonight, Okafor will be the man in the middle for the 76ers. With Noel and Embiid off of the floor this season, Okafor sees a bump in usage up to 24.7% and an average of 32.1 Fanduel points per game. This has much to do with the last time these two teams met. Oakfor drew the start against Washington and absolutely dominated Marcin Gortat to the tune of 26 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in 35 minutes of action. For $4,500 tonight, Okafor only needs to reach 22.5 Fanduel points to reach 5x value, something he should be able to do in his sleep with how shorthanded Philadelphia is.

Alternative Centers: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,400), Rudy Gobert ($7,600), Marcin Gortat ($6,800), Steven Adams ($6,000), Tyson Chandler ($5,200)

 

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